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Whew – Summer’s Over

Written by Dennis Sun
Well, we made it through summer, and it was a long one. About the only good to come out last summer was it gave the kids and grandkids a taste of drought to remember. Come to think of it, we all got a pretty good taste, and more than we want to remember.
    I read where wildland fires have consumed over 8.8 million acres this past summer, with around three-quarters of the fires started by lightning. The rest were human caused. The interesting part is that the northwest part of the nation had fewer fires than normal – they lucked out. The BLM, Forest Service and other state, county and national agencies are out of fire fighting dollars. Nationally, we have numerous forests to thin out or manage for beetle kill just to keep from burning up in the future.
    We’ve all seen throughout the years what happened in California, with houses being caught in the fires, and it hit all over the West this year. At some point, we have to manage for that. We did learn in many areas that, given the right conditions, including wind, low humidity and dry fuels, it’s almost impossible to stop a fire. That is something ranchers and farmers have always realized. Let’s pray the fires stop now.
    But now summer is over, and we’re in the middle of fall work. We see livestock trucks in places they never get to except at this time of the year. As we get ready to settle in for the winter, we are approaching meeting and convention time, and as every year, I’m telling you to get away for a couple of days and attend some of the events.
    If you don’t already belong to one already, join an ag organization. The reality is, these organizations are and have been making life better for you and solving some of the local, state and national issues that we get hit with on a daily basis. We owe it to them and their staffs to join up and pay yearly dues. Everyone who is in the agricultural business has been helped in one way or another.
    Here is a rundown of the meetings and conventions we are aware of in the coming weeks. On Oct. 16-18, the Third Annual AgriFuture Conference will be in Laramie, which is a great event for young farmers and ranchers to attend. Oct. 24-26 the Wyoming Water Association Annual Meeting and Education Seminar will be held in Lander. Wyoming Weed and Pest Convention is in Casper on Nov. 4-6, the Tri-State Wool Growers Joint Convention in Jackson will be held Nov. 8-11, with Idaho, Utah and Wyoming meeting together. Nov. 15-16 marks the Wyoming Women in Ag Symposium in Casper, Wyoming Farm Bureau’s Annual Convention is in Laramie on Nov.15-17. Finally, on Dec. 10-13, the 2012 Joint Convention of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, the Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts and Wyoming Section of the Society for Range Management will be held in Casper under one roof. There is the lineup, as we know it. Please let us know if we have missed any events in our calendar.
    And get involved – there is an ag organization for you out there to belong to.
Dennis